Brown praises young players - but focuses attention on poor starts

Andre Savelio

Andre Savelio

First published in Sport

SAINTS boss Nathan Brown is focused on correcting his team’s poor starts after they again found themselves heavily behind at Widnes.

The youthful side trailed Widnes 18-4 and left themselves with too much to do, prompting Brown to raise the issue in the post match press conference.

He said: “Our starts to a game are a big issue.

"Even when we were winning and going well our first contribution is always an error.

"It can be from a kick off, playing the ball or dropping a bomb, we start games worse than any other side.

"Alongside Bradford and London we are the worst starting side in the comp statistically.

"It is something we need to look at and it happened again as it did against Wigan. We fought our way back, but we have to start games better.”

There were some positives from the defeat, though, with the performances of the young forwards who fronted up well to a seasoned Widnes pack.

Saints handed a debut to Matty Fozard, and gave a run out for Andre Savelio and Jordan Hand.

"Their performances were a win for us," Brown said.

"Luke Thompson played 80 minutes at 13, Joe Greenwood was sensational. And Andre Savelio is only 18-years-old but they couldn't handle him.

"Jordan Hand played in his first game this season and he has improved a lot on last year. There were positives from the match."

Brown felt that Matty Dawson fractured cheekbone had a big impact on the game, especially given Saints had no backs on the bench.

"It had a fair bearing on the match I thought," Brown added.

"We had to move Gary Wheeler out to the wing and make a number of changes. Matty has been going well for us recently but we young Mark Percival, Adam Swift and Jordan Turner out he was our wing cover.

"It's unfortunate but the nature of our game."

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